That’s right–THEY ALL FEATURE DOGS IN THE STARRING ROLE!
Now, you probably always thought of Peter Boyle’s Poochinski as television’s great dog disaster. But that lumbering clobheap didn’t slide to the narratively dissonant depths of these 9 all-time terrible canine-astrophes.
Remember, some of these shows lasted an ENTIRE SEASON.
9. TITAN THE SITTING DOWN DOG (2010) – DISNEY CHANNEL
Titan was an internet sensation known for sitting down in abnormal places, like minefields, on top of beehives, and in lots and lots of elevators. But in making the transition from internet to television star, Titan seemed to lose his nerve, and when the primetime cameras started rolling, he seemed skiddish, and really only had a passing interest in sitting down at all. And when he did want to sit, it was in the decidedly normal chair on the Fletchers’ back patio. Nevertheless, an entire season of Titan aimlessly wandering around and NOT SITTING DOWN was captured by a crew of no less than 35 film professionals!
8. CANDY DANCER (2004) – TNT
I’m not sure what defines true insanity in these modern times, but if I’d hatch a guess, I’d say that the people who thought up Candy Dancer are about as close as you can get. The titular candy dancer is Dandy, a zonked out pooch with an addiction to candy, who by way of a breath-mint-looking time machine, travels back thousands of years to rescue an angel named Mandy who is supposedly responsible for candy’s existence. And yes, Dandy has to dance with Mandy in order to save the candy. It would all be so gleefully stupid if it weren’t so menacingly creepy, and slooooooow. It lasted 12 episodes before it was forever yanked from the tube.
7. FROM BEYOND LASSIE (1994-1995) – ABC
Okay, so let me get this straight: Some 30 years after the events that cover roughly the first 10 seasons of Lassie, Ruth Martin (June Lockhart, reprising her role) is now a private investigator living in Chicago? And…After she falls and bumps her head, is visited by the ghost of Lassie, who proceeds to give her helpful clues on how to solve whatever murder or kidnapping case she’s working on? Okay, just checking. Cause they didn’t even make Lassie look like a ghost. Didn’t fluctuate the opacity or give her some kind of ethereal glow. She looks alive. It’s weird, it’s confusing, and worse, it’s lazy. This is probably the most hated show on our list. Lasted a WHOLE season. Woof!
6. TREMORS: RUFF DESERT (2012-2013) – SYFY
SYFY’s first attempt at a Tremors series back in 2003 was such a miserable failure, I’m not sure why they’d even attempt another one. Add filling the protagonist role with a feisty mutt named Hooby who can telepathically communicate with the sandworms, and my confusion for its existence reaches tsunami levels. Boasting special effects on par with the original film’s sequel, Aftershocks, the show actually impresses from a budget standpoint…which makes the rest of the decision-making involved with this dreck all the more depressing.
5. FETCH & DESTROY (2009) – TBS
Meant to capitalize on the success of the bizarrely violent Smackers bubble gum commercials, the blame for Fetch & Destroy‘s failure can be laid solely at the paws of its co-star, Barnabas the Comfort Dog. Never fully embracing the abhorrently sadistic spirit of the show, Barnabas’ lazy and lackluster performance sucked the life out of the proceedings. Sure, seeing a dog yawn while unloading an uzi on bloodthirsty communists is funny the first time. But that sleepiness gets contagious after a while! Not to mention, the show was criminally stupid, and looked cheap too, despite costing millions to produce the pilot alone! That pilot is the only thing to ever air, though an entire season exists for you to consume on DVD, albeit with far less production value than the pilot. You’ve been warned. This is a shit show. Spoiler alert: RJ dies at the end.
4. SO MY KID DRAWS THESE DOGS… (2013) – Bravo
Nepotism at its most brazen and pathetic! Producer Jon Haslow thinks his second grade son is a pretty talented artist, so he crafted an entire show around drawings the kid does of dogs. An entire 30 minutes is expelled each week, focusing on a new drawing, and the apparent “story” that the particular piece is telling. Haslow enlists several ace Hollywood sound technicians to aid him in creating an auditory experience to enhance the drawings and help audiences delve into the worlds his kid has created. The results are maddeningly boring, infuriating, and soul-crushing.
3. I’M A DOG, SO SUE ME! (2011) – NBC
Aging lawyer and bachelor Larry Kaufman (Richard Lewis) is possessed by the spirit of a magic dog, who reeks havoc on his professional life, and threatens to ruin a budding romance with his long-suffering secretary, Lois. Okay, sounds stupid, sure, but could it be thaaaat bad? Well, considering that the head writer, Michael William Spencerton, suffered a complete mental breakdown while doing the final polish of the script, that should give you an indication of the lunacy that made it to the screen. The entire pilot episode consists of Lewis’ character–who is possessed by the dog off screen before the show even starts–screaming “I’m a dog! SO SUE ME!” into the face of any character unfortunate enough to cross paths with him. It only got more nonsensical and aggressively idiotic from there. After six episodes, NBC shelved it, and ironically replaced it with another infamous dog show, Believe.
2. BELIEVE (2011, 2013) – NBC
Picked up as a midseason replacement, audiences were immediately baffled/mortified by the presence of Believe on their television sets. It’s about a joyful and innocent little dachshund pup named Believe who suddenly winds up all alone, very afraid, and rotting in hell. Ratings were actually quite good for a few weeks, bolstered by what a rival CBS exec called “the inherent sadistic and juvenile inquisitiveness of the typical American television enjoyer,” before they tanked after an episode where Believe watched a sea of paralyzed children chewed up and spit out by Lucifer’s sky-scraper sized lawn mower. Cult status was assured, and the show remarkably returned two years later for six more episodes, this time with a completely different–and far less interesting–dog playing Believe. And another thing to keep in mind–THERE ARE NO WORDS OR MUSIC!
Oh, and just kidding, by the way. Poochinski is still the worst.
1. POOCHINSKI (1980) – ABC
Nothing further, Your Honor.
But I will add this…